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updated: 6/24/2013 8:12 PM

Harper Program Gets High-Schoolers Hands-On with Manufacturing

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Erin Brooks, Harper College

A year after launching an Advanced Manufacturing program that helps place students in paid internships to give them on-the-job training in 21st century careers, Harper College is rolling out a tailored hands-on opportunity to high-school students.

The new two-week Manufacturing Careers and Entrepreneurship program will allow teens ages 15 to 18 to explore manufacturing careers as they exist in modern America -- where computers and robots pack the work floor -- and get a potential leg up in an industry short on skilled workers.

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Participants will design and build a product in Harper's manufacturing lab, following the entrepreneurship process from conception to pricing and marketing. Along the way, they'll learn the basics of Computer Assisted Design and manufacturing machinery operation under the supervision of expert trainers. The program will include field trips to local manufacturers.

"Manufacturing today is high-tech, high-powered and an awesome industry for good jobs," says Kevin Hahn, Recreation and Youth Programs Coordinator. "Our goal is to pique students' interest in potential careers and programs, and we think this opportunity, which builds on the success of our credit manufacturing program, accomplishes that."

Hahn headed up a similar program last summer for youngsters ages 8 to 14 who were interested in manufacturing; this summer's edition takes that one a few steps further.

The program will run from 9 a.m. to 4:10 p.m. weekdays from Monday, July 22 to Friday, August 2. For more information, call 847.925.6300 or visit www.harpercollege.edu/youth.

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